Shopping in Outer Banks NC
Residents and visitors alike find the unique shops situated on the Outer Banks offer a little something for everyone, from souvenirs to must-have items. Best of all, there are numerous stores that have been in operation for years, offering locally made and specialty products.
Speaking of unique and successful, Kitty Hawk Kites is one of the Outer Banks most successful companies.
“Kitty Hawk Kites began with a passion for flight and hang gliding and has since grown as a company with a focus of ‘Teaching the World to Fly,’” says John Harris, owner. “As a company, we focus on our core values and our employees, allowing them to succeed and ‘fly’ in their careers, which also contributes to everyone’s success. The Outer Banks is a community of tight-knit businesses and locals. Each person and establishment here on the beach works to support one another.”
Harris began Kitty Hawk Kites in 1974, and since then, the company has continually grown in scope and services.
“The Outer Banks is one of the best beach resort locations on the East Coast, which makes it one of the best beach resort retail locations on the East Coast,” says Harris. “In our 44-year history, Kitty Hawk Kites, Inc. has grown to 15 Outer Banks locations and is proud to be part of the fabric of the Outer Banks.”
Spreading holiday cheer throughout the year, the Christmas Shop and General Store is filled with the spirit of Jolly Ole St. Nick and the merriment of the season. The shop has been a staple on the Outer Banks for more than 50 years and stocks other items too.
“We have over 5,000 Christmas items in the store and pretty much something of nearly every genre someone would want in Christmas decor,” says Gary Chatnik, owner, who purchased the store in 2016. “We have been selected as one of the 10 best things to do on the Outer Banks.”
The Gift Garden carries a wide variety of items with the store’s popular, premium home flags being a must have. In addition, the store houses an assortment of tumblers, candles and North Carolina jams, jellies and sauces.
Another shop that’s a favorite of locals and visitors is Island Spice & Wine. Located in Avon on Hatteras Island, this gourmet shop has been fulfilling the taste buds and gift needs of customers for more than 20 years on the Outer Banks. The shop features a wide variety of food items, such as wine, tea and coffee, specialty sauces, imported olive oil and vinegar, cheese, sweets, gourmet snacks, as well as kitchen supplies.
A business pillar for Outer Banks shoppers is Sawyer’s House of Furniture (SHF). SHF started in 1955 and has remained in the family. The company has continually expanded throughout the years, offering even more lines of furniture and accent pieces.
“Our goal is great customer service and being a positive force for good in the area,” says Bryant K. Sawyer, SHF chief financial officer.
Another generational family business on the Outer Banks is Gray’s Family Department Store. The family owned and operated business has been a shopping tradition on the islands for more than 60 years. The department store is recognized for its fine men’s and women’s apparel, sandals and accessories.
Whether shopping for souvenirs to take back home or looking for a perfect gift, the stores on the Outer Banks stock it all. By Gennie Taylor